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Roman Tarocco, possible original reference
To the ancient Sicilian pattern.
Unknown, Rome (?), Sicily (?).
No suited cards.
Black xylography, not colored.
Number of cards:
6 Trionfi are identifiable.
195 x 230 mm
This sheet, recently discovered by Giuliano
Crippa, may document an evolutionary phase
of the Roman Tarocchi during the end of the XVI
century, possibly prior to 1585 (see the introduction
to Section II), which, apart from lacking the numeric
indices that usually interrupt the decorative frame,
could be the prototype brought to Sicily for the creation
of the early local plates. The Trionfo in the top left corner,
clearly identifiable as n°16 – The Star has a similar design
and characterisation as the Sicilian pattern, as can be seen
from the presence of the half-circle below the star itself;
on the right of the Star is “The Devil”, which Villabianca
refers to as the “Novissimo dell’Anima”, confirming the
presence of this card in the Sicilian deck until the
mid-17th century, when it was replaced by a “Ship”
similar to the Gallerini or Minchiate, where it represented
an allegory for the “Water” element; below, preserved in
their entirety, are “Death” and “Justice”; in the third row,
though incomplete, are “Strenght” and “Temperance”.
With the exception of the Devil, as previously explained,
the other cards closely resemble the ancient Sicilian Tarocchi.
Archivio Colonna, Biblioteca S. Scolastica, Subiaco.